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Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I co-host the Your Home Story podcast and believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!
New mom to baby Otto born April 2018!

Ultimate baby registry essentials (updated!)

Baby #2 will be here soon!! I'm not having a big shower like last time and haven't send out my registry link much but I am purchasing a few things I really wish we'd had the first time around. Plus, I looked back at my registry post and first 4 weeks newborn essentials post from 2 years ago when we had Otto and while I still stand by those recs!!!, some items are no longer available or I've found better replacements for. (There's a lot more selection now even just compared to 2018!) 

It's time for an update!

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Ultimate, Affordable Baby Registry Essentials


My baby registry essentials, updated for 2020 and spoken as an experienced second-time mom! I go for practical, versatile, non-ugly (sort of minimalist look) pieces and I generally avoid overpriced/super trendy brands. I also can speak to the quality of a lot of these items, having used them with Otto!

I'll also share links below to a few other items and blog posts I did during the newborn phase last time. Some more products you may want to check out and consider, but might or might not want to add to your registry after doing your research.

Okay, on to the registry essentials! A bunch of these are products we used last time with Otto (some I'm buying again or more) and others are things that have come out since or I've learned about since, and wish I had. These are great for first-time or seasoned moms!

Feeding

  • Avent pacifiers. Our hospital had great breastfeeding support and the lactation consultant told me these are the best ones to get. We had 3 with Otto, wish I'd had more! They come in an 8-pack.
  • The Haakaa hand pump is the coolest thing. It's a milk catcher but also hand pump and you can put it on one side and squeeze casually while feeding baby on the other. I struggled with low milk supply a little and am really excited to have this this time and try to get my supply going strong from the very beginning!!!
  • Silverette nursing cups. Also SO excited to try these. I had a hard time the first 3-4 weeks with sore, cracked nipples and the creams and pads didn't help. I've since read the accounts of a couple bloggers who swore by these! They are high quality silver which has natural properties that help with inflammation and healing. In this post Molly says she used these the first month and nursing never hurt. Man, that would be amazing!
  • Bottle drying rack and mat. We still have a drying rack on our counter (Otto is 2 years, almost 4 months) for sippy cups and other things. Get one that you like the look of! I like this white set!
  • Burp cloths. They're actually cloth diaper inserts but they're 100% cotton so super absorbent, and lightweight. Best for wiping up spit-up, milk, whatever.
  • (Not shown in collage) My Brest Friend nursing pillow! Sorry this one didn't make it to the collage, it is absolutely an essential!! I have this one and a spare cover. Love that they have a pocket for lip balm, phone, etc. and clip on so they stay in place. I used this day and night for months!! You need a spare cover because they do get dirty (newborns are messy).

Diapering & Bath

  • Small bathtub. We used a different brand with Otto that is now $135 on Amazon (?!) so this is the $30 version that looks basically the same. Unlike some baby bathing tools that are inserts that go in your tub, this one works stand-alone so you can use just as much water as you need for baby. We gave Otto a bath every night for a while there and this was so convenient!
  • Contoured changing pad. This is the one we have for Otto and still use, and I have another one for baby #2's dresser. Basic, easy. It has a strap on the back so you can secure it to the dresser.
  • Changing pad covers. These come in every pattern under the sun but you'll have so many colorful patterns on everything else for baby, I recommend pure white!
  • Changing pad liners. These are sort of waterproof and are really great for on-the-go diaper changes as well. We still keep one on top of the changing pad cover for Otto.

For Mama

  • Unisex diaper backpack. We have one like this that we still use for Otto when I go out shopping with him or when Jason drops him off at my parents' house for a bit. Don't overthink the diaper bag; something like this is versatile and functional and can be used for years!
  • Soft wrap carrier. There are a lot of brands of these and I have a name brand one that is too stretchy, plus one just like this that is perfect and was super affordable. I wore Otto a TON in the beginning (only surefire way to get him to take a nap when he was a newborn) and this one works great for newborn through older babies.
  • Convertible front pack carrier. We have this exact one and I liked using it when going on walks or out in public more than the soft wrap sometimes. It didn't put Otto to sleep as much, which is sometimes a pro. Also so affordable!
  • Mindful Birthing. Really positive book I read part of last time and all of this time. It has me almost looking forward to the labor experience (despite my super challenging one last time).

Furniture & Around the House

  • Non-ugly bouncer. The one we had last time was ugly and has since been recalled for safety reasons! These are super useful to move around the house (kitchen, dining room, bathroom while you get ready, etc.) and just have a clean, safe place to put baby.
  • Prettiest bouncer/rocker. We have this one this time and I am so excited! It's pricier but not compared to some (!) and is so beautiful I'm happy to have it in the house. It converts to a rocker when you put the feet props up, and reclines up and down so it works for months and months. Otto spent so much time in his bouncer before but I never wanted to take pictures of him in it cause I didn't like the pattern--so this one is great! Ahh, so excited about it!
  • Play mat and gym. Floor time is great for babies (rather than spending all their time in the bouncer or being held) and you'll want a soft, small mat like this one. This comes with a cute gym which folds up for easy storage. We had a gym/mat like this in our living room for months, too... so pick a cute one like this one.
  • Super comfy rocking chair/glider. We have this one and I love it SO much. We still sit in it with Otto before every nap and bedtime. I think I might need a second similar one when we put baby #2 in her own room cause I don't want to move ours from Otto's room yet!

Playtime

  • Cotton blanket. Most baby blankets you find at the store are either the super thin ones or they're plastic-ey fleece or fuzzy. This cable knit one is so classy and 100% cotton.
  • Sophie. She's a teething toy babies love but is also so cute!
  • Tensegrity toy. Super cool elastic and wood toy that even tiny babies love to hold and look at. Otto used it a lot.
  • Rainbow glow rattle. Jason interned at a pediatric physical therapy clinic recently and worked with a lot of babies, and this was a favorite toy. It lights up and amazes them, and is easy to hold.
  • Reaching and grasping rings toy. Another recommendation from the PT clinic, universally loved by babies there!

Sleep

  • Bassinet with fold-down side. There are a lot more options for this type of thing now than when Otto was a newborn. I really wished I'd had something that would line up with our mattress and have a fold-down side so I could reach over and touch him or pick him up easily. Baby sleep is the hardest thing and even though you'll only use a bassinet like this for the first few months, you'll be desperate for anything that will help baby sleep longer or give you more rest! This one moves up and down to line up with the bed height, zips down on the side closest to the bed, and has safety straps to attach to the mattress.
  • White noise machine that plugs in. We have this one and still use it for Otto every nap and all night. Muffles out other noises and helps them get calm and sleepy! We'll be buying another one for baby #2!
  • Home security camera OR baby monitor. We have this basic camera which links to my phone, which is convenient for an older baby/toddler--I don't want to carry a monitor screen around for years but I still want to be able to see his room when he's making noise instead of napping. But, for a newborn I think we really want a real baby monitor (includes thermometer to show temperature in baby's room, and screen turns on when it senses movement or noise). I think we'll get a real baby monitor this time with two cameras, so we can monitor temp in Otto's room and wherever baby is sleeping.
  • Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep. There are a ton of resources out there for baby sleep and you will probably read them all at 2am while feeding a baby that was just away 2 hours ago. I read the first half of this book (intro and newborn section) by low light when Otto was in that phase and it has great basics and advice that you'll probably find in all the other, trendy newborn sleep courses, too. Probably no need to pay $$$ for those, just read this book for a great foundation!
  • Zipper swaddles. I never used the arms-out function (want them locked in!) but these are good for tiny babies and really easy to use.
  • Velcro swaddles (3-pack and 2-pack). We used these the most, both 0-3 month and 3-6 month size. You need a bunch cause you wash them a lot. Newborns' wake windows are so short (like 45 mins at first!) so they will spend a lot of time napping (or nursing right before nap) and this plus a onesie is their main outfit for a long time there--so I chose the least offensive patterns I could find in these :P. I seriously swear by these instead of swaddle blankets, they stay on so much better! (Actually, we did one of these on top of a flannel blanket locking down Otto's arms like in this swaddle Houdini trick.) Keeps them from waking themselves up, last thing you want!

Hope this was helpful! Pin this post for later reference and check back, or share with friends!

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